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Life Against All Odds

If even the doctors are pressuring you to abort, shouldn't you just listen?
By Efrat
First Publish: 5/21/2014, 9:55 PM

Pregnant woman (illustration)
Pregnant woman (illustration)
Thinkstock

"My second pregnancy began with ten blissful weeks," says Yafit, a young mother. "Suddenly, without warning, I felt excruciating pain.

"I didn’t know where it was coming from and whether it was pregnancy-related. When the pain got worse, I was rushed to the hospital, where they hurriedly performed lots of tests and x-rays and I was diagnosed with an advanced stage of pneumonia. I began a series of complex treatments including all types of medication.

"At one point, the situation deteriorated so badly that I could hardly breathe. The doctors decided to perform a powerful suctioning of fluid from my lungs, and when that wasn't successful, decided on surgery under general anesthesia. I braved that difficult time but the greatest difficulty was not the pain or suffering, but the intense fear that something might happen to the fetus.

"The doctors weren’t helpful. Every time the doctors did their rounds, they summed it up with a strong recommendation to abort the pregnancy. They hinted repeatedly to me that the treatments I had undergone posed a very high risk to the fetus and advised me to have an urgent abortion. Of course, I never agreed to even consider it, but the doctors insisted. I stuck with my decision to continue the pregnancy, despite the risks and despite one of the doctors telling me in no uncertain terms that 'if I do give birth, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that the baby will be born with severe deformities, or even paralyzed.'

"These are not easy things to hear and I almost died on the spot. Not only was I exhausted and from all the treatments and mentally and physically tired, but I also had to deal with pressure from doctors, none of whom gave me any hope that perhaps there was a chance that a healthy child would be born.

"Then, as if heaven-sent, a flyer by Efrat found its way into my husband's hands and he suggested we consult with Dr. Schussheim who could perhaps clarify for us if our fears were unfounded.

"We brought all the medical documents to the appointment and after a thorough review and questions about my state of health, Dr. Schussheim gave us real encouragement and told us that there was a chance that with G-d's help, the pregnancy would end normally. After our conversation with him, I felt like I was born again. I had the feeling that this difficult pregnancy would give birth to a special child.

"Four months after our appointment, we gave birth to a beautiful and completely healthy baby girl."